Arrested Malawian migrants were going to be sold for cheap labour - Hawks

2016-08-08 20:00
FIE: SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

FIE: SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Theunissen - A group of 36 illegal Malawian migrants appeared in the Theunissen Magistrate’s Court on Monday, after it was suspected that they were going to be sold for cheap labour, the Hawks said on Monday.

The driver and a passenger are facing charges of human smuggling and violation of the Immigration Act.
The other 34 were charged with violating the Immigration Act.

All 36 were remanded in custody and both cases were postponed to August 23.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the suspects were arrested after members were alerted to a suspicious broken down van on the side of the road near Theunissen on Friday.

Mulaudzi said they found two men inside the van, and nine men and two women sitting next to the road.

The remaining suspects were found hiding under a nearby bridge.

None of the migrants had any valid documents to be in country.

"Further probing revealed that the group were going to be sold for cheap labour in the Eastern Cape," Mulaudzi said.

It was alleged that they were on their way to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape to look for jobs.

This was the third group that had been intercepted; other groups were intercepted in Limpopo and North West recently.

Read more on:    hawks  |  migrants
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